Thursday, April 18, 2024

Mjwara Takes Bow As Director-General Of Science And Innovation In South Africa

Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Professor Blade Nzimande has announced the retirement of Dr Phil Mjwara, the country’s longest-serving Director-General, from his role as Director-General of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI).

In a statement on Friday, the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation said Dr Mjwara has a long and distinguished career as a senior public servant. With 18 years of service, he holds the distinction of being the country’s longest serving Director-General.

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The statement read he played a leading role in shaping the policy and institutional architecture of South Africa’s National System of Innovation (NSI). He led the establishment of some of our country’s key science institutions, such as the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and the South African National Space Agency (SANSA).

He also played a leading role in laying the basis for and repositioning our NSI through policy interventions such as South Africa’s first national Science and Technology Foresight Exercise in the 1990s and later, the White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation and the Decadal Plan for Science, Technology, and Innovation,” the ministry said.

As chairperson of the Forum of South African Directors-General (FOSAD), he also played a critical role in coordinating some of the key projects of government and ensuring inter-departmental synergies.

Dr Mjwara leaves the public service with a solid reputation of visionary and ethical leadership.

Nzimande also announced that Mr Daan Du Toit has been appointed as acting Director-General for the Department of Science and Innovation,for a period of 12 months.

Du Toit brings with him a wealth of experience. He started his career in government at the then Department of Foreign Affairs, where he trained as a diplomat. Since 2002, he has been attached to the Department of Science and Innovation and served as the department’s representative in Europe.

Du Toit is currently the Deputy Director-General at the Department of Science and Innovation, responsible for International Cooperation and Resources. Through this position, he has played a significant role in initiating and maintaining some of South Africa’s key global engagements and partnerships in the area of science, technology and innovation.

The Minister thanks Dr Mjwara for his service to the nation, and wishes Mr Du Toit well on his appointment as Acting Director General.

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